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The Boy Who Played With Fusion
Popular Science ^ | 2012-02-14 | Tom Clynes

Posted on 02/21/2012 9:07:37 AM PST by justlurking

Propulsion,” the nine-year-old says as he leads his dad through the gates of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “I just want to see the propulsion stuff.”

A young woman guides their group toward a full-scale replica of the massive Saturn V rocket that brought America to the moon. As they duck under the exhaust nozzles, Kenneth Wilson glances at his awestruck boy and feels his burden beginning to lighten. For a few minutes, at least, someone else will feed his son’s boundless appetite for knowledge.

Then Taylor raises his hand, not with a question but an answer. He knows what makes this thing, the biggest rocket ever launched, go up. And he wants—no, he obviously needs—to tell everyone about it, about how speed relates to exhaust velocity and dynamic mass, about payload ratios, about the pros and cons of liquid versus solid fuel. The tour guide takes a step back, yielding the floor to this slender kid with a deep-Arkansas drawl, pouring out a torrent of Ph.D.-level concepts as if there might not be enough seconds in the day to blurt it all out. The other adults take a step back too, perhaps jolted off balance by the incongruities of age and audacity, intelligence and exuberance.

[...]

This is before Taylor would transform the family’s garage into a mysterious, glow-in-the-dark cache of rocks and metals and liquids with unimaginable powers. Before he would conceive, in a series of unlikely epiphanies, new ways to use neutrons to confront some of the biggest challenges of our time: cancer and nuclear terrorism. Before he would build a reactor that could hurl atoms together in a 500-million-degree plasma core—becoming, at 14, the youngest individual on Earth to achieve nuclear fusion.

(Excerpt) Read more at popsci.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Technical; US: Arkansas; US: Nevada
KEYWORDS: fusion; fusor; nevada; stringtheory; taylorwilson
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To: Talisker
a huge percentage of the deaths at Chernobyl came from drinking the local milk, since it concentrates the radiactive particles up the food chain

Citation please.

51 posted on 02/21/2012 12:30:22 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: TexasRepublic
We should know in a few more years what he is actually capable of.

Google "the radioactive boy scout"

52 posted on 02/21/2012 12:39:58 PM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: refermech

All through school, from elementary to high school, I kept getting in trouble for having a science fiction novel hidden in my notebook which I read during class. I loved the “hard” SF where the science was accurate.

When Ronaldus Magnus gave his Star Wars speech in 1983, I was the new engineer in my department at a huge aerospace company. The Boss asked in despair, “Does anyone here understand space weapons like lasers, particle beams, and railguns?”

I spoke up, “Sure, I know all about space weapons.” Six months later I won our first contract sole source. We flew the first SDI experiment on the Space Shuttle in 1984. It was my idea.


53 posted on 02/21/2012 12:40:09 PM PST by darth
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To: darth

Awesome< I’ll continue to expose my boy to as much science and high tech as I can. And teach him mechanics if he ever shows an interest.


54 posted on 02/21/2012 1:16:05 PM PST by refermech
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To: refermech
And teach him mechanics if he ever shows an interest

Buy a car in a bucket and tell him it's his if he can put it back together.

Motivation is everything

55 posted on 02/21/2012 1:52:07 PM PST by Cowman (How can the IRS seize property without a warrant if the 4th amendment still stands?)
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To: Cowman

If he does well in school, I’ll give him my 71 Duster. He’ll be the only kid with a real muscle car. It used to scare him when I took him for rides(408 engine). Now at 10 years old he likes it when I goose it!


56 posted on 02/21/2012 2:28:25 PM PST by refermech
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To: justlurking

Will read later. When my son was in pre-school he had all sorts of dinosaur models, and knew all the names and ages. The teacher said he was the go-to kid for dinosaur info.

At the zoo one time, about 7 years old I suppose, we were at the Komodo Dragon exhibit and he started talking ALL about them, to the amazement of us and the strangers that had gathered.

He’s still a bright kid - but nothing like this kid! Of course, I don’t have to worry about coming home to a Black Hole either!


57 posted on 02/21/2012 2:38:50 PM PST by 21twelve
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To: from occupied ga
Funny, when I read your post all I saw was a jackass braying.

You sure that wasn't part of your plantation fantasy, with a happy slave plowing your cotton field behind it?

58 posted on 02/21/2012 2:39:27 PM PST by Liberty Tree Surgeon (Mow your own lawn!)
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To: refermech

“He has a hard time focusing on what is being taught.”

Look into getting your son into a program for gifted students; lots of towns have them these days.

Being held back by the class numbskulls, he’s probably bored sh*tless where he is, and this boredom, if not rectified, could impede his growth and put a big dent in his prospects for success. I’ve seen it happen many times.


59 posted on 02/21/2012 3:23:25 PM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: blueunicorn6

Bookmark


60 posted on 02/21/2012 4:07:44 PM PST by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I think this is the article you freepmailed me about.


61 posted on 02/21/2012 10:04:16 PM PST by Kevmo (If you can define a man by the depravity of his enemies, Rick Santorum must be a noble soul indeed.)
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To: justlurking

Loved this article! Thanks for posting it.


62 posted on 02/21/2012 10:10:11 PM PST by Monitor ("The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-front for the urge to rule it." - H. L. Mencken)
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To: Kevmo; AdmSmith; bvw; callisto; ckilmer; dandelion; ganeshpuri89; gobucks; KevinDavis; ...

Thanks Kevmo!


· List topics · post a topic · subscribe · Google ·

63 posted on 02/21/2012 10:11:56 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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The inventor of the Fusor, which the kid in this article replicated.
The Boy Who Invented Television: A Story of Inspiration, Persistence and Quiet Passion The Boy Who Invented Television:
A Story of Inspiration, Persistence
and Quiet Passion

by Paul Schatzkin


64 posted on 02/21/2012 10:17:50 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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BTW, something has bugged me since I first began to read this article, and it needs to be corrected. The Saturn V at Huntsville is not a "replica" -- it's one of three surviving Saturn V boosters, the other two are at Houston and Canaveral. Of course, the rest of the Saturn V boosters still exist, but they're at the bottom of the ocean. There's a deep-sea recovery and rehab job just crying out for fruition.
Jan. 30: Chris Capella looks upward as he walks beneath the newly renovated Saturn V moon rocket in Huntsville, Ala.

Jan. 30: Chris Capella looks upward as he walks beneath the newly renovated Saturn V moon rocket in Huntsville, Ala.

65 posted on 02/21/2012 10:25:20 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: albionin

Pretty much yes.


66 posted on 02/22/2012 2:32:01 AM PST by Boiler Plate ("Why be difficult, when with just a little more work, you can be impossible" Mom)
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To: SunkenCiv

That’s a great book. RCA ripped him off big time.


67 posted on 02/22/2012 8:58:44 AM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: TexasRepublic

Definitely.


68 posted on 02/22/2012 4:44:42 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: darth

Way cool, darth!


69 posted on 02/22/2012 7:32:15 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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